A vial containing doses of the Moderna vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and syringes are pictured at Japan Airlines (JAL) facility where its staff receive the vaccines at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Japan June 14, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
UK's Johnson set to announce delay to end of restrictions
(REUTERS) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce on Monday that the end of COVID-19 restrictions will be delayed following concern about the rapid rise of infections of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Johnson has refused to deny suggestions in the British media that the end of lockdown would be delayed by up to a month, saying in recent days there was "serious concern" about rising infections and hospitalisations. In recent weeks there has been a fast growth again in the number of new cases caused by the Delta variant, first discovered in India, which health officials believe to be 60% more transmissible than the previous dominant strain and scientists warn could trigger a third wave of infections.
Social distancing and sex in the Olympic village
Tokyo Olympic organisers plan to give away about 150,000 condoms at next month's Games, but are telling athletes to take them home rather than use them in the Olympic village where social distancing rules and coronavirus measures are the top priority. Athletes have been told to keep their distance from each other, meaning fewer opportunities to mingle and more.
Dining has become another issue. Organisers were originally planning to feed residents of the village in vast dining halls – the largest one with a capacity to seat 4,500 people at once. But now, the organisers will ask athletes to dine alone, maintain social distancing with others, and wipe down surfaces after eating.
Celltrion says trial shows antibody treatment to be safe and effective
South Korean drugmaker Celltrion Inc announced on Monday positive results for its experimental antibody COVID-19 treatment that it said was safe and reduced the treatment period by nearly five days in Phase 3 global clinical trials.
The treatment slowed severe symptoms of COVID-19 in more than 70% of patients, including the high-risk group with underlying conditions. It also cut the recovery period by 4.9 days, the company said.
Virus outbreaks at Thai factories
A series of coronavirus outbreaks in over 130 Thai factories, including those supplying international brands, with more than 7,100 cases across 11 provinces, is raising concerns that the export sector could be hit hard, threatening to further undermine an economy as it struggles to recover from the pandemic's crippling blow to the crucial tourism industry.
The government has been trying to contain the outbreak with a "bubble and seal" policy, which takes effect when 10% of factory workers are infected. The confirmed cases are then sent for treatment while the remainder are kept at the factory for 28 days. Workers at factories and in construction camps who live on site - many of them low-wage migrant workers - have been unable to leave their workplace, even if they are not infected. The policy differs from other workplaces affected by the coronavirus.
South Korea to exempt some people vaccinated overseas from quarantine
South Korea will exempt some travellers who have received their COVID-19 vaccine shots overseas from its mandatory two-week quarantine starting July 1, health authorities said on Sunday.
Exempt travellers will need to fill out an application, and still need to be tested before and after arriving in South Korea. Some travellers from countries with major outbreaks or variants will not be allowed to skip the quarantine, said Son Young-rae, an official with the Central Disaster Management Headquarters.